RSS recently published a study focusing on the identification of ombrogenous peat domes. In this study an approach to model the surface of convex shaped peat domes in Indonesia using freely available satellite LiDAR data from ICESat-2/ATLAS, which was launched in 2018, was developed.
Peatlands in Indonesia are one of the primary global storages for terrestrial organic carbon. Poor land management, drainage, and recurrent fires lead to the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide. Accurate information about the extent of the peatlands and its 3D surface topography is crucial for assessing and quantifying this globally relevant carbon storage. To identify the most carbon-rich peatlands - dome-shaped ombrogenous peat - by collecting GPS-based terrain data is almost impossible, as these peatlands are often located in remote areas, frequently flooded, and usually covered by dense tropical forest vegetation. The detection by airborne LiDAR or spaceborne remote sensing in Indonesia is costly and laborious. Our new publication investigated the potential of the ICESat-2/ATLAS LiDAR satellite data to identify and map carbon-rich peatlands. The spaceborne ICESat-2 LiDAR data were compared and correlated with highly accurate field validated digital terrain models (DTM) generated from airborne LiDAR as well as the commercial globally available WorldDEM DTM dataset.
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